As most of you are already aware, I am a health & fitness coach, and I also live with bipolar disorder. A couple weeks ago, I was talking with my psychiatrist, and he said to me,
“Lyndsay, you are always taking care of your clients and inspiring them. You’re taking care of the kids you babysit and the dogs you care for. It’s great, but let me ask you, who inspires you?“
A simple question, but it hit me hard. In that moment, I wanted to break down and cry. I absolutely LOVE what I do as a coach. The progress my clients make, the breakthroughs, helping others to live longer.. it’s absolutely amazing! I am in awe every day of how wonderful my clients and friends are. I love the feeling of being needed. I’m sure there is a specific reason behind that, but like Miss Maudie said in To Kill A Mockingbird, “All anyone wants is to feel needed.” My career brings me satisfaction, happiness, and hope.
But at the same time, I am giving all my energy to my clients, and completely neglecting myself. How can I be a good coach/mentor if I am not taking care of my mind and body? Who can I go to when I am not feeling strong? When I need inspiration, motivation, and help with my nutrition? Yes, I know a good amount about health, nutrition, and fitness, but I don’t know it all.
As much as I don’t want to admit this, I am going to, because honesty is incredibly important. Not only for the people you’re talking to, but also for yourself. I have a sugar addiction. Like a hardcore, legit, anxiety-fueled addiction to sugar. I have dealt with this on and off throughout most of my life, but when I get incredibly stressed, I lose control completely.
I have felt myself slowly spiraling out of control over the past two months. Poor nutrition, poor fitness, poor mental health. It is a vicious cycle. I feel sad/stressed, so I want to eat something that will release dopamine and endorphins, so I eat sugar (it’s comforting). But the comedown from that sugar causes me to feel depressed/anxious/stressed… and the cycle continues.
This photo represents the cycle of addiction. Any addiction. Did you know sugar addiction is similar to heroin addiction? It is very, very real.
This is specifically what happens in your body when you consume sugar. Endless, awful cycle.
You know how they say that people come into your life for a reason, and at the perfect time? It’s amazing! I was searching through blogs and stumbled upon Lifelong Wellness Coaching with Nellie Russell. I originally found her through her blog, Bipolar Out Loud, and saw that she offers mental health coaching. It’s something I’ve never considered, but something I definitely wanted to try. It’s similar to therapy, but I also get a meal plan catered to me and my physical/mental health issues.. plus Nellie has bipolar disorder as well, so she totally gets me. It’s a little different getting life coaching from someone who lives with what you live with, as opposed to someone who only studied it. Totally not discounting what therapists do, but it’s just a different experience.
My first session was tonight, and oh my gosh, I already feel like a new person. I have hope again. I don’t feel stressed (and I’ve been stressed ALL day.. hellooo taxes). It feels so good to allow myself to be the client, and to go into a coaching program with an open mind. I get so caught up in helping other people transform their lives (which again, I LOVE), that I forget to transform my own life. I am excited for what these sessions bring, and I am excited to improve my life. Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand, and it is time for me take full control of them both!
- Have you ever dealt with any type of food addiction? If so, how did you get through it?
- If you are a coach (or in any profession like it), how do you stay inspired? Who helps you?
I am a 47 year old man,who is successfully managing Bipolar 1 & a com morbid anxiety disorder (Generalised Anxiety Disorder,GAD)I do this by following the ideas of Patrick Holford who wrote Optimal Nutrition for the brain,he is a protege of Abraham Hoffer,who along with Humphrey Osmond did seminal work in treating schizophrenic’s with vit B6.
I have avoided processed foods & paid close attention to my nutritional needs since I was diagnosed aged 25.I incorporate Raw Energy foods into my diet & take nutritional supplements with a raw juice every day.When this is incorporated with some intense aerobic exercise every day it starts to give some control.I also use a vapouriser in which I utilise Cannabidiol rich material,There is some exciting work going on at University College London by Dr Valerie Curran,she is working with G W Pharmaceuticals to try to develop a CBD based antipsychotic medicine,they hadn’t started to look at the axiolytic effects when I met her & talked to her about this & endogenous DMT at Breaking Convention 2011.I am very interested in the possible neuro-protective function of endogenous DMT & it’s role in Psychosis/mania.
The key to managing this disorder seems to be at least in part nutritional the other components are exercise & some facility with cognitive programming methods,CBT,NLP or suchlike,I found formulating my own synthesis of these programming modalities fused with aspects of Shamanic healing,psychedelic psychotherapy,Zen Moritist psychology & similar ideas,self hypnosis etc.I have found that it has helped me to have an idea of my mind,as having a central controller I call him the Fat Controller(a reference to Thomas The Tank Engine,a kids TV show/book series)it is this portion of my brain that is the decision maker,the part that listens to the angel on one shoulder & the devil on the other & it is this part that makes the decision to take a breath & calm down before acting,it is my emotional policeman,it is this bit of my mind that runs the statistical likely hood routine,the part that examines my emotional responses to the world & evaluates them as being likely/unlikely,this is the hardest bit of Bipolar 1/GAD,the having to 2nd guess ones emotional apprehension of the world & then ask is this real/likely or is this an aberrant thought brought about by aberrant neurochemisty.It takes time to learn & good friends who know you well to help you by telling you when you are being a pain & have got the wrong end of the stick,but once you become adept at it it almost becomes 2nd nature & you don’t have to work so hard at it.
Make sure to fill your life with life affirming things,people you love,hobbies you are passionate about(unicycle hockey in my case,unicycling in general,it’s great fun & is very intense exercise that always feels like play rather than a slog)as it is important to have things that you can point to as being good & wholesome when the darkness comes to visit,it helps to be able to use your intellectual appreciation of reality to offset the neurochemical tendency to suicidal ideation & stupid thinking.
I’ve been managing this disorder in this way for nearly 23 years now,I am not in the Peter Breggin camp,knowing that there are times when you need the meds,however in my case I only use neuroleptic tranquillisers & Benzodiazepenes if I become manic,I do so because when I go manic it can become a 360 hour blast,no sleep,indeed no sitting still for even a moment,with the ability to lose a stone in weight in less than 2 days,so as soon as I spot a manic buzz I am on the downers to manage it,I read R D Laing & Seth Farber etc,but although I hold with some aspects of the spiritual awakening/emergence meme,I tend more towards the work of Stan & Christina Grof.
You appear along with Nel Lochmore to be on the right track,it gets easier as you learn more techniques for managing it,so keep on trucking & GOOD LUCK.
I have a MAJOR sugar addiction. My sweet tooth will be the death of me! I try to eat it in moderation, but there is no way I could give sugar up for good.
I am nervous about giving it up, because I know the withdrawal will be hard and it literally gives me anxiety! But I think it’s something I need to do so I can get to a point similar to where you are – where I can have it in moderation, and only that! 🙂
I found I can eat some sugar if I run. Problem is that I have the sugar habit and when I can’t run, I still want the sugar!
Haha I understand that!! I’ve gotten over the sugar problem before, and then it got bad again. It’s definitely a struggle. But I am ready to defeat it and learn moderation! 🙂
I have been trying to give up my sugar addiction for about a month. I was able to give it up for about two weeks, but then my birthday came and I had to give in! Hoping to try it again next week. 🙂
Oh my birthday came April 5 and you bet I had cake! Haha. I didn’t even try giving it up this time around because of the stress. But it makes the stress worse obviously lol and I cannot feel like this anymore! I am definitely trying now, but I can’t go cold turkey. I’ve made improvements though! What do you do to try and give it up?
I’ve been trying to have one small thing every night (when my sweet tooth is at it’s worst!). I have a hershey’s kiss or another small piece of chocolate. Usually that satisfies me!
I’m the same way! I can go all day with little problem, but once night comes, I want chocolate lol. The hardest thing for me to give up is soda- the sugar and the carbonation are super addicting for me. I’ve luckily cut down to 1 a day (which is a lot less than what I was doing!), but by the evening, I have a migraine from withdrawal. It’s no joke!! Both my arms broke out in hives at 430am bc of the detox lol. I like your idea!!
Oh my gosh! That sounds rough! I get migraines too, but luckily not from withdrawal! Looking forward to seeing your next steps with everything!
Do you mind me asking what you do for your migraines? I get them often, and just ordered some doTERRA oil for headaches. Thank you!! I appreciate that. I look forward to following you as well!!
ooh I’ve never heard of that. I’m going to look it up! I use migrelief to prevent them and I think it works very well. I usually take one in the morning and one at night. It has Riboflavin and Magnesium in it. I think it’s cut my migraines by about 70%! I buy it off Amazon, but you can also buy it from a health foods store.
I’ll have to look that up! It sounds great 🙂 I get migraines at night so I don’t want to take excedrin like I usually do during the day. But yeah I used oils when I was younger, and found this on amazon (doTERRA Past Tense) and the reviews were great!! I’m excited to try it out 🙂
Let me know how it works! I also just read on Debbie’s blog about an oil that she really likes: http://livefromlaquinta.com/2014/04/22/natural-headache-relief-essential-oils/. You might wanna try that one out 🙂
OMG wonderful!! Thank you so much! 🙂 have an awesome evening 🙂
Girl I totally get it! I have an addiction to comfort food and convenient food. I hate spending time making something so if it’s fast and easy it’s in my diet. I really need to work on it!
It is ROUGH. I was reading a book yesterday about sugar addiction, and basically in the brain, it’s similar to opioids. So heroin. Same chemical reaction. Wow! This post was from a couple months back, and I was able to kick most of the sugar habit (I cut out soda which was SO hard for me, chocolate, refined sugars, etc), and finally got rid of the awful symptoms I was having. But it is a daily struggle, especially around that time of the month!
I learned to enjoy cooking, which was huge for me. Because like you, I don’t like spending time making anything lol. I’ve never enjoyed cooking, ever. But I learned to make it fun and teach myself how to tailor it to what I like, instead of what I think I’m supposed to have, if that makes sense. Good luck to you Montana!! It’s hard but absolutely worth it! <3
Great post, a few months ago I switched my family to organic and NON-GMO. You can’t believe how much sugar, fake sugar, and chemicals there are in all the foods we are being told to buy.
What a difference in how we feel. I used to drink soda every morning, now I will have a coffee with just organic half/half and the rest of the day it’s seltzer.
congrats on being features on SITS
karen recently posted…Just Finished Reading…
That is AWESOME Karen! Good for you & your family!! I still struggle with soda, but I’ve cut back significantly and am getting close to cutting it out completely. Youre so right – the foods we are told to buy are not healthy! It’s a shame. Thank you for stopping by my blog!! xo
It’s good to know that we aren’t the only ones that deal with the same issues. Sometimes it feels as though we are and no one else understands but that is simply not true and just a lie of Satan. Thanks for sharing!
Bethany recently posted…Decorating with Vintage Pieces
Youre right! We are not alone. Someone out there is experiencing the things we do. I’m glad I can be that for people! Thank you for stopping by & commenting! xo
Keisha | The Girl Next Door is Black
Sugar addiction is no joke. It’s my one real weakness. Thanks for sharing your experiences with trying to break the cycle; it’s encouraging.
Happy SITS day!
Keisha | The Girl Next Door is Black recently posted…San Francisco’s Dia de los Muertos 2014
Sugar addiction is definitely real and frustrating! I tend to go back and forth with wanting it and not wanting it- but my boyfriend never craves it, so I know it’s possible! Thank you so much for stopping by & commenting!